Here at {code} Roadies, we enjoy looking at website trends. What are the “experts” predicting? What did they predict last year? Did any of it come true? We’re going to look back at 2013 and then look forward to 2014. Hopefully, we can help you provide some insights to your clients.

2013

2013 was an interesting year in web design. Here are the most popular predictions of 2013:

Responsive Design
We covered this topic in our last post. We seldom build a website that isn’t responsive/adaptive anymore. The increase in mobile web usage should continue to push this technology forward. Further, the mobile device market seemed to put additional effort into new and interesting devices. This trend will continue to increase the importance of ensuring that your mobile offerings are device flexible.

Year Of The Tablet
We remember when we first saw a tablet. I personally remember thinking some negative thoughts about the device. Several experts predicted 2013 would be the year of the tablet, and boy were they right. Consequently, touch screens are now a major consideration when it comes to web design. One example we have seen time and again is the decision to use a hover state in navigation design. There is no hover state with a touch screen.

Content Is King
While the search engine optimization (SEO) industry has been around for awhile, the Google algorithm seems to have put considerable weight on the content of your site in 2013 and changed the way the SEO folks are doing business. Not only does a site need to be relevant, it has to be timely as well. Coordinating site content, pay-per-click ads, social network posts and traditional marketing messages may seem like a daunting task, but it almost always pays dividends. Further, possessing the ability to quickly change a site’s content will allow an organization to stay on top of this process.

Keeping It Simple
This one seems to come up every year. There appears to be a tug-of-war of sorts between the design folks, clients, programmers and the end users. While it may make sense to display the latest wiz-bang web design trend (parallax is one example), the end user should be considered above all else. At the end of the day, a website’s job is to inform and provide a call to action. Apple’s new “flat design” served as a reminder that simple never goes out of style.

2014

Now that we’ve reviewed 2013, let’s look at what the experts are predicting for 2014:

Single Page Websites
http://www.smokeybones.com/ (with parallax)
These sites are great for the right target audience. They don’t work for all applications however.

Parallax
http://moto.oakley.com/
Parallax ratchets up the wow factor. This is a hot trend right now.

Flat UI
http://asmsu.msu.edu/
This design is more of the utilitarian approach to web design, in which form follows function. This clean approach conveys your message clearly.

Fixed Navigation
http://www.redpepper.com/ (with parallax)
This design element works wonderfully with the single-page and parallax designs. There’s no need to frustrate the end user!

Interactive Infographics
http://futureofcarsharing.com/ (use the arrow keys on your computer to steer the little green car) Pretty neat stuff! If this aligns with your target and message, go for it!